Crucible of Freedom: Civil War 1861-1865 words/terms to know: seceded (secession)



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Crucible of Freedom:

Civil War 1861-1865

words/terms to know:

  1. seceded (secession): left, separated

  2. cession (from ceded - to be taken): something that is taken

  3. Confederate States of America (CSA, Confederacy): The Southern states which seceded from the Union led by South Carolina – wore Grey, were called “Johnny Reb”

  4. The Union: the Northern states that remained a part of the United States, were called “Yankees” or “Yanks”

Lincolns Inaugural Address (Presidential Address)

  • Lincoln was inaugurated in March of 1861 and made an address (speech) discussing the issues between the states: slaver and secession

What promise about the issue of Slavery did Lincoln make?

  • He said he would not interfere with the issue of slavery in states that have slavery. However, he later has to defend territory and fight against states who left the union

Did Southerners believe him?

  • No

What action had some southern states taken?

  • South Carolina had seceded (left) from the Union and other Southern States followed them.

What promise had Lincoln made about Federal property?

  • Federal property (US government property) will be defended from attack.

Fort Sumter

  • Confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter on April 18th, 1861 – it was the beginning of Civil War

  • CSA attacked Fort Sumter to prevent re-supply of the fort by The Union

  • The Confederacy (CSA) was worried that Fort Sumter blocked the port of Charleston in South Carolina. Lincoln said he would defend Federal land (Fort Sumter) and waited for the Confederacy to attack. The attack begins the war, and the Confederacy looks like they started the War Between the States (Civil War).

  • Lincoln declares an insurrection (rebellion), calls up 75,000 militia men from loyal states

  • More Southern States secede

What Advantages did the different sides have at the beginning of the Civil War?

Each side, North – Union and South – CSA, had different advantages and disadvantages at the beginning of the War

#1 Home field advantage: Most of the War was fought in Virginia and the Southern states, so the Southerners had “home field” advantage – most of the war was fought on Southern lands

#2 Standing Army: 16,000 Union (federal soldiers) versus 0 Confederate soldiers. The Confederates were mostly militia and soldiers that left the standing army of the federal government

#3 Trained Officers: 2,000 in the North versus 1,000 in the South

#4 Population: 22 million in the North versus 9 million in the South

#5 Politics: Two Party versus the No Party: The losing Party lost and quit, but the Democratic Party still existed in the North

#6 Developed System of Banking: The Federal Government / North had better systems in place for getting money through taxes, the most of the industry, and the most money saved

#7 Railroads: North has 2/3, and South only 1/3. North is more industrial (more factories)

#8 Telegraph Lines: Some in the North, but none in the south. Meant better communication in the North

#9 Established Industry: North had 90% vs. 10% in the South. Industrial factories allow the North to build materials (guns, ammunition) faster and more efficiently

#10 Victory Conditions: The Union has to conquer the South to win, the CSA only needs to defend itself on its own land. It costs more to conquer (play offense) than to defend – The South has the advantage

#11 Morale/Cause: States’ rights vs. permanence of the Union, also the issue of slavery drives people to fight as Union soldiers.

General Winfield Scott Plan (Union General)


  • Anaconda Plan: Blockade the southern coastline, capture the Mississippi River, then wait for Southern Unionists to seize control of the CSA. By blocking the coast, it will force the South to lose trade and money, but this will take too long.

Lincoln’s Initial (first) Moves

  • Advantage #2 and 3: develop the Standing Army and officer corps

  • Secure Border states: Maryland , Delaware, Kentucky, Missouri

- including Washington, D.C. which is right next to Virginia

  • A train of Massachusetts volunteers heading for Washington, D.C. was attacked by a mob in Baltimore

  • Lincoln sent troops to Maryland and suspended habeas corpus took away people’s rights to trial, can put them right into jail.

  • Maryland and Delaware rejected secession – they remain a part of the Union under threat of force from soldiers stationed throughout the two states.

Advantage #3: Trained Officer Corps

  • 2,000 in North vs. 1,000 in the South: Officers are leaders and the North had more leaders

  • Included both: Robert E Lee , and Ulysses S. Grant (famous Generals of the War)

  • Generally accepted that the South had the better officers

-Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was considered one of the best officers/leaders of the war (Southern)

Comparing Graphs: (see graph from notes)

  • North had greater resources available: population, goods, ships, railroads, farms, food production, factories, iron, and banking capital ($$).

Draft (Conscription) in the North and South

A draft is when citizens are ordered to report as soldiers and fight in war



  • CSA April 1862, had the first “conscription” in US history.

  • Exemptions – some people were allowed to avoid the draft if…

    • CSA: Owners of 20 or more slaves (wealthy could avoid draft)

    • Union: could pay another man to serve in your place or $300 to be exempted (again, wealthy people could avoid the draft)

    • What complaints might be raised against these loop-holes? Wealthy people can avoid the draft

  • Total draftees:

    • Union: 46,000 of 2,100,000 total population

    • CSA: 120,000 of 800,000 total population

  • North experienced Draft Riots – people were angry that they were being forced to serve

First Battles of 1861

  • First Battle of Bull Run July 21, 1861

    • Watched on hillsides by Washington dignitaries (famous people and leaders)

    • Smaller CSA army routed (defeated) Union army

  • War settled into winter encampment and training – no major fighting

  • March 9, 1862, CSS Virginia vs. USS Monitor:

The Year 1862 Begins

  • Spring 1862 Peninsula Campaign by Northern General McClellan failed, CSA victory

  • Second Battle of Bull Run Aug 28-30, CSA victory

  • North lost first 3 battles

  • Battle of Antietam, Sept 17, Southern General Lee had invaded MD

    • Technically a draw but Lee withdrew

    • Bloodiest battle in history

    • Strategically a Union victory because Lee left battlefield

The Defense of Slavery becomes a “wild card” the Civil War: the outcome of the war will be determined by the issue of slavery, and the emancipation (freedom) of the slaves.

Emancipation Proclamation

  • This document announces the freedom of slaves where?

  • Would a slave in South Carolina be free?

  • Would a slave in Pennsylvania be free?

  • What might some of the immediate effects be of this Proclamation?

Immediate Effects:

  • African-Americans served in the Union armed forces to the extent of approximately 200,000 volunteers by the war's end. These soldiers were segregated into African-American units and largely led by white officers, nonetheless their contributions were significant.

  • By reframing the conflict as a war against slavery Lincoln also neutralized the participation of England and France as potential allies of the South. Most French and English people were philosophically opposed to slavery, making support of the South politically unfeasible.

1862: Battles in the West

  • Grant

    • Control of Missouri and Kentucky

    • Captured forts in Tennessee

    • Close call, but a victory at Shiloh

  • The CSA attack at Shiloh stripped the defenses of New Orleans allowing Admiral Farragut to capture it and surrounding areas.

1862 ends a bad year for the Union

  • The Western battles were going well but the Eastern battles were what counted toward popular perception

  • Peace Democrats (called “Copperheads” by the Republicans) demanded a truce and a peace conference. They were not in favor of Emancipation.

  • There was very strong opposition to Lincoln, especially after he dismissed McClellan (who later ran against Lincoln in 1864 as a Democrat who promised to make peace with the CSA)

1863 The Turning Point Year

  • Gettysburg, Union victory July 3.

    • Lee retreats

  • Vicksburg, Union victory July 4, finalizing the capture of the Mississippi, surrounding and blockading the South (effective, but not 100%)

  • Coincidentally, in July, the NY draft riots occurred.

Grant’s Strategy to Win

  • Early in 1864, Lincoln made Grant commander of US Army

  • Grant won battles by taking advantage of the North’s larger population and superior ability to supply its army.

  • Grant was willing to lose more soldiers and expend more supplies because he could replace his losses while the CSA could not.

  • Some called him a “butcher”

  • Lincoln said, “He wins.”

1864, Sherman’s March to the Sea

  • Total War: Sherman burned Atlanta then moved south to Savannah taking what was needed for supplies and burning anything that could aid the CSA army.

  • What effect did this have on civilian morale? Civilians (Southern citizens) were demoralized (frightened, wanted to end the war)

The Beginning of the End

  • Sherman took Savannah Dec 1864 and turned to the north.

  • He took Columbia, SC’s capital, without a fight and gutted much of the city.

  • By Spring 1865 he was in NC.

  • Other Union armies were moving through GA and AL, capturing thousands of CSA soldiers and freeing thousands of Union prisoners.

General Grant

  • Assaulted the Army of Northern Virginia at Petersburg, a railroad hub of Richmond.

  • Captured Petersburg on April 2, 1865.

  • Union troops went into Richmond April 3, 1865, as CSA troops retreated.

Appomattox Court House

  • After Petersburg, Grant prevented Lee from escaping Virginia.

  • On April 9, 1865, Lee asked for Terms of Surrender.

  • Final surrender occurred on April 13, 1865.

Impact of the American Civil War

  • Settled the issue of state secession.

  • Ended slavery.

  • Put America more firmly on a path toward industrialization.

  • Promoted large scale organizations such as Railroads and other businesses.

  • Federal Government became more “central” and powerful.

  • Changed the name “The United States” from a plural to a singular.

To Study: (important ideas):

  • Lincoln’s view on slavery (Inaugural speech, Emancipation Proclamation, response to editor)

  • When/where CW started?

  • Considering various advantages, who would you have bet on to win the CW? Why?

  • Lincoln’s first moves

  • Outline 1862

    • Spring

    • Summer/Fall

    • East/West

    • Political situation

  • Significance of 1863

  • Grant’s Strategy

  • Sherman’s actions and affect

  • Surrender date and place

  • Overall # dead

  • Lasting impact of Civil War

  • Questions from slides



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